Conveying, Materials Handling, News, Plant & Equipment, Processing, Screens & Feeders

Weigh screws a viable alternative to conventional weighing tools

 

Active Weighing Solutions (AWS) has taken decades’ worth of industry experience to perfect its weigh screw conveyors and feeders, assuring quarries of accurate materials handling.

Tried and tested in a range of industries from agriculture to concrete batching, the manufacturer’s weigh screws are borne from a history of working with major construction materials suppliers. 

AWS managing director Nigel Saul told Quarry this experience allowed his business to show the industry the value of weigh screw conveyors and feeders. 

“Over the years we were supplying belt weighers and weigh feeders to industry around Australia,” Saul said. “One of the common issues people find in implementing belt weighers is simply incorrect installation – some people just put them in the wrong place. So, we provide that knowledge to get the best out of the product.”

These installation issues can lead to errors in accuracy leading to wasted time, money and faith in the equipment. To remove the risk of incorrect installation, AWS will work through it with clients from concept to sign-off.

“We can either go to site or they’ll send us some drawings of their set-up and we will propose a solution to optimise the equipment,” Saul said.

“Sometimes a weigh screw conveyor or a feeder isn’t suited to the application. If an operation has a product with a dramatically varied feed rate, then we’ll suggest something like a batch weigher which is another tool in our arsenal. 

“We don’t force a weigh screw conveyor down people’s throats. We inspect the application, learn what the client wants out of it, what they’re looking to spend and then we come up with the best economic and engineering design for them.”

Saul said AWS’s weigh screws were able to deal with even the toughest of materials like cement to achieve accurate operations. 

“Cement is one of the harder products to work with for a weigh screw because the material handling characteristics of the material make it difficult, but we’ve proved we can get good accuracy out of our weigh screw feeders,” Saul said.

“One of our clients recently requested to weigh cement at 40 tonnes per hour. We achieved an accuracy better than 0.1 per cent of cement to dry aggregate.”

Another benefit of the weigh screws is in their design, which can be key when dealing with materials like cement.

“These products also lend themselves to dusty and toxic applications as they are completely enclosed,” Saul explained.  “If you’re trying to contain a product to keep workers safe from dust and fumes then weigh screw conveyors and feeders are an option.”

Having understood its customers and the work they’re looking to achieve, AWS applies its technical knowledge of dynamic weighing and material handling in its designs. 

Saul said while the concept of the weigh screw is hardly novel, value is created by AWS’s knowledge of the intricacies of each application. 

“We can all weigh. Putting a load cell into a system and coming up with a weight isn’t the problem,” he said. “But understanding the materials handling characteristics of a product is where we shine. 

“When you understand a product and how it needs to be moved, only then can you put a system together like our weigh screw conveyor.”

Once the system is in place, AWS offers on-site servicing or remote monitoring to provide technical expertise when it is not practical or possible for on-site support. 

Saul explained the simplicity of remote monitoring which allows AWS to come online and help a client in need. 

“It consists of a small modem and antenna at the client’s site. All they have to do is plug in the modem and our team from the office or at home can dial directly into it via a VPN,” he said. “We can upload all of the system parameters and operational data in real time, and analyse the data to optimise their system.”

Once logged on, AWS’s remote team can assess the weight signal of the equipment with information coming through at about 100 times a second. This provides an accurate picture of the weighing operation from anywhere with an internet connection. 

But for those occasions where a little more information is needed to diagnose any issues, Saul said a solution is on the way. 

“We also have options in the works which include a camera for us to physically see what’s going on to better help the client,” he said. •

For more information about the weigh screw conveyors and feeders, visit the AWS website: activeweighing.com.au

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